When I got the CD of Hungarian band Thornwill in the mail, it look quite promising. But sometimes the music can't keep up what the package promises... And Thornwill? Well, the Hungarians offer a strong debut album which won't disappoint metal fans! Guitarist Márton Szabó was so kind to answer my questions.
Please tell us a bit about the bands beginning!
All started five years ago, when we founded Thornwill. I had a former band called Hereditas, on the ruins of that band Thornwill was formed. After years of struggling we finally found the current members, and started to compose an album. We played some shows, but the idea was to create an album first, try to promote it, so that we can show at once who we are. The real and hard work started two years ago, with the recording, composing, rehearsals.
What's the idea behind the bands name? What does it mean to you?
It does not mean anything, there is a village somewhere in the United States that got its name after us, but nothing special really... :) It was suggested by a friend when we were heavily thinking about it. It sounded just perfect. :)
So far only few bands from Hungary made themselves known internationally. Is it getting easier now? Does Hungary gets more attention now?
It is easier because of the internet, but also very difficult, because every day and night new albums and songs are released, so it is quite hard to get recognized amongst so many. Hungary have got more attention recently because of our government, and politics, but unfortunately it doesn't really help musicians. We have two good news for the metal fans, Nevermore has now a Hungarian guitar player called Attila Vörös, and AFM Records offered a contract for a band called Dalriada, they play Hungarian folk metal. This is great news because it happens very rarely, and we can be proud of ours for a while now. Maybe other bands will get more attention too.
You released Implosion on your own and you make it available for free. Your way of trying to get recognized? Coz more people will give it a chance as it's for free?
Exactly, this is how we try to reach as many metal fans as possible. The album was downloaded including community site statistics and some torrent measure 15,000 times since April, and it is increasing every day.
But you also sell a CD via your website incl. a great multi-page booklet. Are you satisfied so far?
We are very satisfied, because we can see that we can achieve more and more by doing hard work, promotion, and playing a lot of shows.
Who had the idea for the comic-style booklet? And who realized it?
I had the idea, I wanted something different. Actually what I really like is Neil Gaiman style comics, and Frank Miller. I wanted to express some of those dark feelings by the drawings and themes. The paintings are oil, and made of Norbert Papp, a very good friend of mine. He is a professional artist having exhibitions, and online galleries. There is an other guy called Peter Faragó, who put the design together, cut the paintings, he did the digital part of the work, and prepared the whole stuff for printing. Also he created our website.
You played at Hungarians Metalfest and presented your album live. How was it to share the stage with an international billing? And how did the fans treat you?
It was a great experience, we never played on a such professional stage, we got pretty many positive feedback, and it seems that we will play at Metalfest Hungary once again this year.
You were 2nd in a competition which got you a support slot - as far as I know. Tell us about the competition and the tour!
Yes, the second slot is actually the prize that we can play on an international gig, and this will be the Metalfest 2011. Hopefully everything works fine, I don't know any details yet. More than 150 bands submitted to the competition, and we were in the lucky 18 to play live on the stage. After the we were one of the three lucky bands who won a prize. We have never imagined such a success story before.
You also have 2 video clips, Civilized Ways and Noah's Ark. Why these tracks?
We always wanted to shoot a movie about Civilized Ways, because of the story, a young guy does something bad, can never live a proper life again. Finally the story of the clip became a bit different from the track and the lyrics, but it still gives back something from the original idea. But we wanted to do a more professional video too. We selected Noah's Ark together, as one of the most known song of us, and the one most requested.
How important was it for you to do a video clip? Well, video clips...
It is very important, on YouTube it is possible to get exposure even of millions in a week, if you somehow succeed to create something really special. Second, we like doing movies and video clips very much, big fun, great time, great work to do.
You just had to face a line-up change, Gábor Németh joined you on drums. Was it difficult to find a replacement for András Balázs?
We have known Gábor for long before we invited him to the band, so it was not difficult to find him. The difficult thing was to make this decision, because András is a really good drummer, and good guy. But he couldn't do it further, he has other things in mind now, different goals.
At the moment your fans can vote on your page, they can vote for the songs they want guitar tabs of. As everybody will have other faves, wouldn't it be the best to offer guitar tabs for all songs? Will this vote also effect your set list?
We would like to offer every song to the fans in the format of tablatures, but we don't really have to time to make them. It takes sooooo long :) So we came up with the voting stuff. Now the first tab is out. Every month we plan to publish one more, but we will have a new album released sooner, than we can get the job done on the first album :) So it is impossible :) If we get world famous, we will hire somebody to finish it :)
You'll play some shows in your home country soon, but what about shows outside Hungary? Anything on the way? Festivals?
We had some shows in the surrounding countries, Slovakia, and Slovenia until now. We are trying Transylvania next, Germany, and Austria. We hope the get recognized by some festival organizers, and bookers soon.
What else is on your schedule for 2011?
We plan to play a lot live, record at least a demo of a new album, get some new gadgets in our studio to improve sound, and one step at a time getting more and more known. We hope people will like what we are doing, and maybe we can soon show the world that Hungary can provide quality metal music.
Thank you very much for the interview, and greetings to every metal fan! See you soon live!
Hopefully they will get the chance to play live... It looks like their plan to offer the debut for free got them some attention, now it's time to spread the word - and to buy the CD!